Assistant Professor of English
Interim Writing Center Director
Dr. Cairney is a professor, communications practitioner, and developmental editor. Her background is in trade publishing, and in supporting the written communication of rising executives. An experienced writing consultant, language advisor, committee member, mentor, and professor, she excels in applied collaborative communication. She often finds her home in the writing center.
In her previous position, Dr. Cairney was decorated for her teaching, scholarship, and service as an Assistant Professor of Communicative Arts, receiving the Civilian Service Commendations Medal. She was awarded for her work with course directors to design and implement effective writing, providing invaluable writing support across academic programs. Dr. Cairney also developed the writing coach program, providing critical oversight of the quality of editorial feedback received by students.
Dr. Cairney enjoys applying theoretical concepts to practical applications, specifically with the communication capabilities of artificial intelligence. Her scholarship explores the ways writing is produced using collaborative inputs.
PhD, English: Composition and Rhetoric, St. John’s University, 2020
MAT, English and Public Speaking, George Fox University, 1995
BA, Communication, George Fox University, 1994
Research Interests / Areas of Focus
Exploring the methodologies of collaborative contributions to writing production, including the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence in producing effective written products. Areas of concentration include Writing Centers, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing in the Discipline, and Professional Writing.
Perhaps You Might Consider: Structuring Supportive Editorial Commentary. Conference on College Composition and Communication. PA. 2019
Thinking Outside the Anthology: Creative Pedagogies and the Future of Writing. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition. KY 2018
Real People, Fake Narratives: Does Self-Publishing Promote or Obstruct Authenticity? Modern Language Association. NY. 2018
Podcast: Radioactive Writing: The Authenticity of Text Produced in the Metaverse. International Writing Center Association. MD. 10/2023
Chapter: “Write it up or Write it Down: Code Switching for Interpersonal Influence Among Senior Leaders.” In Tip of Spear to Stern of Ship: Holistic Development of Enlisted Servicemember Communication Skills. Air University Press. Forthcoming, 2025
Article: "The Rhetoric of Light in Writing Spaces." TEXT Journal of Writing and Writing Courses Special Issue: The Writer’s Place.
Media Script: USAWC Command Video. Created to promote and explain the school, center, institute, and programs at the college.
Dissertation: Editorial Literacy: Reconsidering Literary Editing as Critical Engagement in Writing Support. Examining collaborative writing practices in publishing against composition scholarship in the writing center.
Awards and Honors
Civilian Service Commendation Medal (or Civilian Service Achievement Medal) in recognition of activities that promoted the development of written communication skills. United States Army War College, 2023.
Ben Rafoth Research Grant, in support of my dissertation. International Writing Center Association. 2019
Doctoral Fellowship, Institute for Writing Studies, St. John’s University. 2016.
Electives Committee, Dean’s Office, US Army War College, 2023
Artificial Intelligence Committee, Chair Writing Working Group, Dean’s Office, US Army War College, 2023
Communicative Arts Directive, Provost’s Office, US Army War College, 2023
Battalion Command Assessment, Effective Writing, US Army, 2022
Bylaws Review Committee, Member, Stony Brook University, 2019-2021
Graduate - Art & Science of Effective Communication / Online Publishing & Presence for Senior Leaders
Undergraduate – WRT 487: Independent WID Study, Professional Writing / WRT 302: Critical Writing Seminar-Principles of Editing / WRT 201: Principles of Professional Writing / ENG 120: Writing for College / WRT 102: Intermediate Writing Workshop / WRT 101: Introductory Writing Workshop / WRIT 110: Technical and Professional Writing / LITR 101: Literature and Composition / LITR 100: English Language Lab / FYW 1000: First Year Writing / ENG 101: English Composition / BE 122: Reading for English